Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Sunday, August 14, 2005
  The Pecking Order

Every company has an established pecking order. The supervisors and other management are always at the top, then there are those employees with a lot of seniority, or who have big responsibilities who make up the middle tier. Then there are those that always seem to be at the bottom, either their job could be replaced very easily, or they just don't fit in and are unable to gain any influence in their working world.

In our call center, these people do what we have labeled "customer service support". Which is a nice way of saying we only let them do those things that won't lose us money if they are done incorrectly. Either it was determined that they weren't suitable for doing trades and other transactions where money changes hands, or they tried once and did such a lousy job, they were demoted to this position as long as we needed warm bodies to answer the phone.

Whenever a new person comes to the center its always interesting to watch the way that the other employees react to them. Most of the people in the middle tier of the pecking order go out of their way to help them, and try to train them well. Those at the top seem to start out being supportive and welcoming, but always make it a point to remind new people in subtle, or not-so-subtle ways that they are the top dog. What really intrigues me the most is how the people at the bottom of the pecking order treat new employees.

Its hard to learn to work here. There are a million details, and a million customers that want things done a million different ways. Whenever we train new people they inevitably make mistakes. You would think that the other customer service support people would be nice to the newbies and try to help them. Wrong!

Some of the agents in the customer service support section give the newbies a harder time than supervisors. They boss them around, gossip about how stupid they are and just treat them like shit.

It reminds me of so much of history, the lower class complains about the abuse of the upper classes. But if the lower classes rise up and over throw their oppressors, in the end they become just as heartless and cruel as the people who oppressed them. I guess that's why I believe that man is basically evil. Even those in the lowest of circumstances will treat others cruelly if they can get away with it, while at the same time complaining about how the boss is such a jerk.

Thanks for reading,


The exceptions are what make it difficult. We face the same thing... There're internal departments that want things passed to them a special way, and users that have authorized things without us having to contact them, or sending people to them as a contact point, etc. We have 40k+ users... it's hard to keep track of the exceptions for every user and every case. But we're expected to.
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

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